When speaking with project managers I often hear their frustration in having to not being able to fully complete the documentation often required as part of a formal process, often a Quality Control process. I often hear that we have the “right approach” but “not the budget” when trying to incorporate Quality Control strategies into their production process. Managers are pressed to produce deliverables on a tight budget within a compressed timeframe, time spent filling out documentation associated to a formal process are often seen as an inconvenience, a low priority, or even a waste of time. The pressure of having to deliver product, along with the challenges of inconsistency in team members and design changes outweigh the perceived need to fill out forms or follow a process they feel is not necessary.
We spend a lot of time developing process and building the associated resources, having a clear path and the tools available for people to make their goals successful is very important, however we need to also include educating the decision makers on the “why” of any new process, those that have an impact on how budgets and resources are assigned and ultimately contribute to the success of any implementation.
By implementing process during the early stages we dramatically increase the success rate of projects, success rely’ s on having, and implementing, a plan early on so as to avoid having to address issues that could have been easily been avoided or recognized through proper planning earlier on.
We need to start addressing issues before they become problems, the key to this is through the education and implementation of process, at all levels of the organization, especially at the higher management level where decisions on timelines and budgets are made making available the time and resources so we can be successful.
We don’t develop process just for the sake of creating paperwork, or to satisfy the needs of a contract, processes are developed after learning from previous mistakes and learning from lessons learned from past projects.
What do you need to know about implementing a new process?
Do your homework, find out what the driving factors are for making any changes to your existing process, and spend some time finding out the current understanding of the process and where the current breakdowns exist.
Deliverables: Specify exactly what your organizational deliverables are, regardless of whether that’s a service or product your organization should have specific goals and expectations on what is delivered to your clients. From this you will clearly be able to provide what is required and recognize opportunities where additional services can be promoted.
Create specific policy objectives and measureable milestones separating current status from a quantifiable future target. Through this you’ll be able to gauge success and improvement.
Drivers & Champions: These are individuals who are excited about the prospect of developing an innovative system/process and engaging in the implementation process.
How will improving your process play into your business strategy?
Review your objectives and strategies, you may have to adjust your goals and objectives to suit the needs of your organization.
Here are some of the benefits of improved process you can take advantage of as part of your business strategy:
- Quality – Efficiency in process
- Competitive advantage
- Collaboration, opportunities to collaborate with similar businesses
- Risk Mitigation – Information management, time efficiency, saving $$
- Data Management
Often implementation fails not due to the lack of staff participation but rather the failure of management to fully understand what the adoption really means. There is a lack of understanding of how the new process will have an impact on how business is sourced, procured and executed. Management need to fully realize the short term cost of implementation versus the long term benefits of adoption of a new process.
A successful implementation strategy needs to be customized and assessed for each unique situation, however, looking at it from a high-level, there are four distinct stages that can be identified and help shape the outlines for a successful adoption.
Continue reading part 2 on the next blog posting, "The Four Phases of a Successful Implementation of a New Process"
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